Detroit Bulk Storage river spill: Officials deem containment plans not good enough; water quality checks out

Radium in drinking water doesn’t exceed maximum contamination limit, private company says

DETROIT – Officials said the plans presented by Detroit Bulk Storage to contain the impact of an aggregate spill into the Detroit River aren’t good enough.

READ: Defenders expose another business along Detroit River operating without a permit

Crews from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy reviewed the short-term plans by the company and deemed them inadequate. New plans are due to EGLE by Jan. 24, officials said.

Here’s the full statement:

Today, EGLE sent to DBS and Revere Dock our responses to their letters about short-term plans for the site along the Detroit River. EGLE informed the companies that it considers inadequate the steps they have taken so far to contain the impact of the aggregate spill into the Detroit River. New plans are due to EGLE by Jan. 24.”

Tests come back clean

The second round of water quality tests related to the Detroit Bulk Storage partial land collapse seven weeks ago show it had no impact on water quality, officials said.

The tests weren’t done by state officials or the Environmental Protection Agency. They were done by a private company. But Thursday’s results provide some relief, as the radium detected in the drinking water didn’t exceed the maximum contamination limit.

“Yes, the water is safe,” said Gary Brown, director of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. “It is as safe today as it was before the spill that took place on the riverfront.”

The Great Lakes Water Authority released its second round of test results, confirming there was no impact on water quality. But for anyone who works along the river, such as Gregg Ward, who runs the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry, there are still concerns, especially about the growing sinkhole at the site.

“It’s changing rapidly,” Ward said. “One, it’s becoming more profound in the sinkhole, and two, the color is quite bizarre -- this green funky color, which is different from the river. Where the sinkhole has developed a very deep area, it’s in perfect alignment of where the physical lab building used to be, which stored uranium and cut uranium bullets."

The lab was there in the 1940s and was used in the race to build the world’s first atomic bomb. It resulted in the soil being contaminated with a host of heavy metals, including uranium.

Local 4 called the company to find out if they tested the actual sinkhole or just the river. We have not yet heard back.

You can view the full laboratory report here:

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